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First Impressions: Christine & The Queens, Justin Timberlake, Lil Yachty And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 07/12/2018

First Impressions is our roundtable review feature where our writers give their take on some of the biggest songs from the week past. This week Christine & The Queens, Lil Yachty, RAYE and more are in the hot seat.

Christine & The Queens – Doesn’t Matter

Sean Tayler: I felt torn on ‘Girlfriend’, the debut single for Chris’ new album, but I’m in love with the airy and slick retro beat that surges through ‘Doesn’t Matter’; it’s contemporary in a gorgeous retro trance. 4.5

Kate Carnell: First impression – Super HAIM sounding, which is AWESOME!  Need I say more? 4.5

Sam Murphy: I’m so taken by this. The video is so powerful, emotional and human but the song is just as much so. “It doesn’t matter does it? If I believe in God and God exists?” is such a damn heavy hook for a pop song but she delivers it with such finesse. I’ve always wanted to have an existential crisis on the dancefloor and if anyone is going to give it to me, it’s Christine. She’s such an intelligent songwriter without expressing this sort of stuff at the loss of accessibility and immediacy. 4.5

RAYE – Friends

Sean: In ‘Friends’, RAYE’s singing and the production feels sped up and incredibly forced, almost as if she’s afraid the only exciting and interesting aspect of this song is the speed. Ehh. 2

Kate: HAHA I love the reality, “We could’ve been friends.  Well maybe not best friends” and “We could’ve been cool. Well maybe not that cool.”  Could this be Taylor and Katy’s new jam? Am I perpetuating the “girl hate girl shit” that Raye is clearly sick of?  Well I love this, Raye, no bad vibes here. 3.5

Sam: I feel like this is the most on-form RAYE has been in a little while. I actually love the pace of it and the way the synths in the bridge break of the steeliness of it. The playfulness of the lyrics in the chorus totally makes it for me though. “Well maybe not that cool,” is gold in my opinion and RAYE handles it so well. This needs to be in every club immediately. 4

Lil Yachty – Who Want The Smoke? (Feat. Cardi B and Offset)

Sean: Cardi B has had a lot of features lately but this feature sounds nearly exactly the same as ‘Money Bag’ from her recent album. Lil Yachty’s vocals are incredibly boring and drone. The production isn’t terrible but it doesn’t do enough to save this otherwise terrible track. Offset also brings an interesting edge to the track, but one that is not worth enduring Lil Yachty’s slurring. 0.5

Kate: For a song called, “Who Want The Smoke?”, there certainly isn’t much fire.  Embarrassingly for Lil Yachty his feature artists Cardi B and Offset carry the song, but just not quite over the line.  Very forgettable. Imagine if Cardi B and Offset had’ve just done a song together without Lil Yachty. 1.5

Sam: This is just bad business. Everyone knows that you surround yourself with people who will elevate not outshine. Yachty’s hook on this is fine but then Cardi blasts in and declares herself the “king of New York”. Then, Offset races through with a frantic, furious verse. By the end of it, you’ve forgotten that Yachy was even on it. I just cannot figure out what they were thinking getting Cardi and Offset on this. Stupidity. 2

Justin Timberlake – Soulmate

Sean: I’ve never enjoyed Justin Timberlake, but at the same time I’ve never found his music particularly bland and commercial, only vague. This is terrible, it’s beyond bland and it’s incredibly commercial. I’ve never given a zero before but here we are apparently. 0

Kate: I’m picturing a dude at a local pub pressing play on his little keyboard and singing overtop.  I mean it’s not bad and I guess it’s a testament to his talent that at this stage in his career JT can still keep us guessing but I’m just not feeling this one.  2.5

Sam: I see Justin Timberlake has left the ranch for summer at the beach. Had it been on Man Of The Woods it would’ve been the best thing on the record which is really not a compliment. It’s fine and not terrible. That’s a step-up. 2.5

SG Lewis x Clairo – Better

Sean: Imagine listening to Lil Yachty and Justin Timberlake instead of Clairo. SG Lewis is an interesting producer and I think his production does an okay job paired with Clairo’s soft, breezy vocals. As the song progresses, there’s a clear progression established which makes for a fun listening experience. It isn’t as exciting as Clairo x Danny L Harle from her new EP, but it is a refreshing bop. 3.5

Kate: It’s nice and chill and would be good for a Sunday arvo session but apart from that it’s not a big win for me.  3.5

Sam: I love Clairo and I love how versatile she’s becoming. She really fits SG Lewis’ warm, approachable production like a glove and she gives a beautiful honesty to this cut. This is one of the most memorable Lewis cuts I’ve heard in a little while too. 4

Iggy Azalea & Tyga – Kream

Sean: oh my god Ronnie!! The production on this song fits the vocals in that it’s edgy enough to grab your attention but not deep enough to leave an interesting first impression. It’s incredibly one note and the music video is quite tacky. 1

Kate: I mean, it’s better than everything else that followed The New Classic but that’s not saying much. If you love ass,  definitely peep the video. Points for the Bella Hadid line though. 2.5

Sam: You’ve gotta give her some credit. No matter how many times she falls she just keeps getting up. Top marks for sampling Jersey Shore, bottom marks for getting Tyga on the track. As for Iggy’s bars, well she brings up that Bella Hadid Complex vid which is fun. I don’t really have much else to say to be honest. 2.5

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